Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tussle between state education department and teacher ends

Tussle between state education department and teacher ends

Seema Sharma, TNN Feb 10, 2014, 11.00PM IST
DEHRADUN: The prolonged tussle between the state education department and the unwilling government teachers who were not accepting their job posting on the hills, is finally coming to an end with most of the 113 teachers giving in to the department's tough whip. Principal secretary of the education department S Raju said, "Most of the 113 government teachers out of total 1,600, who were suspended for not joining the postings given in difficult hill areas have begun falling in line. The department has become stricter with those who have furnished fake medical certificates in order to cancel the hill postings."
Taking view of the situation, where earlier vacancies would never be filled up at the government schools in the hilly pockets of this Himalayan state, the department has now come up with a clear regulation to curb the problem. "It is for the first time that a clear regulation has been formulated. The government teachers will have to spend the first 12 years of their service in the hilly schools followed by another term of 12 years in the plains," he said.
"The benefits of the government schools which have good infrastructure and are available throughout the state even in the remotest corners, but they are not reaching the children there. Despite the fact, the government teachers get higher monthly salaries than the teachers working in prestigious boarding schools in Dehradun, still they are not willing to work in the hills," additional secretary of basic education, Radhika Jha said.
Another senior official added that the government teachers who work as booth level officers during election period have successfully been using their political influence in getting postings in plain areas other than the remote villages of places like Chamoli, Pithoragarh and others.
Raju stated, "The education department has also formed a parent-teacher committee which has been entrusted with the task to give a report to the department with regard to the attendance and performance of these teachers. The committee members have been given basic training at the District Institute of Education and Training Institutes of the state in this regard. Each committee of the disaster affected area has been empowered to spend Rs 17 cr on repair and other miscellaneous expenditures."
"The committees should be fearless in their report to the department. However a toll free number (1800-1804132) has been issued to receive open complaints from the public," Raju said.
According to him, the department is determined to improve the school education, especially in neglected hill areas. "There are 17000 children studying in 10,000 schools on the hills. We have a good ratio of 35 children per teacher. The drop-out rates of the students too have come down from 8% to 4.5%. In order to improve the quality, some extra pages have been added at the end of each book. However, as the exams have been ruled out till class VIII under the Right To Education (RTE) Act, the teachers seem less interested in teaching at the school and more in giving private tuitions. As a result, some 50,000 children across the state left government schools to take admission in private schools last year," he said.

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